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Monday, January 26


“God intended it…to accomplish…the saving of many lives.”
Ge 50:20 NIV

JOSEPH’S STORY, AND YOURS

Here’s Joseph’s story in a nutshell: His brothers put him in a pit, his boss put him in a prison, but God put him on a throne. And here’s what we learn: (1) Your dream may work out differently from what you thought. As a boy Joseph dreamed of being in a position of power. But God had something better in mind: namely, the saving of a nation. What God has in mind for you will often exceed all your expectations, bless others, and promote His kingdom on the earth. (2) When it feels like you’re losing, you’re learning. When you experience unfair treatment and hardship, complaining doesn’t do any good. Plus, you’re not growing while you are grumbling! In every experience there’s a lesson, so glean it and move forward. When life knocks you down—just make sure it knocks you to your knees. (3) Seek divine promotion instead of self-promotion. Every time Joseph tried to promote himself it worked against him. Look what happened when he asked the royal cupbearer, who was his prison-mate, to recommend him to Pharaoh: “The chief cupbearer …did not remember Joseph” (Ge 40:23 NIV). Joseph learned the hard way that success comes from God, and that we must give Him the credit for it. Indeed, the only advancement that counts is the kind that comes from Him. So pray: “Lord, help me to see these difficulties as stepping stones to maturity. Give me patience to wait for the kind of promotion that comes from You. Help me to remember that I’m blessed for a reason—to bless others.”

Tuesday, January 27

“They did not respond to correction.”
Jer 2:30 NIV

BE OPEN TO CORRECTION

How do you respond to correction? By taking offense? By interpreting it as rejection? By getting defensive? By shooting the bearer of bad news and making sure they never get to you again? By keeping score and saying, “In comparison to what I’ve accomplished in life, you’ve done nothing”? By giving in to self-pity and thinking how hard your life is because people don’t understand or appreciate you? We need people who’ll be honest with us. Why? Because we’re too easily blindsided by our egos! When God sends somebody to correct you, it’s because He wants what’s best for you. His willingness to correct you actually demonstrates how much He cares for you. “If you are not disciplined…you are illegitimate children and not true sons” (Heb 12:8 NIV). So check your spiritual birth certificate! People who are open to correction generally exhibit these four qualities: (1) Vulnerability. When they’re wrong they’re capable of admitting it—even before they’re confronted. (2) Teachability. They’re willing to hear, quick to learn, and always open to counsel. (3) Availability. They don’t try to avoid you. (4) Honesty. They are committed to the truth regardless of how much it hurts. You say, “That’s a high standard.” You’re right! It’s a standard pride resists and fragile egos run from. There’s something in each of us that would rather look good than be good. So when God sends people into your life who love you enough to level with you—be open to them. Your personal growth and success depend on it.